Onu’s impact on Nigeria’s political landscape immeasurable, says VP Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima says the late former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu’s impact on Nigeria’s political landscape is immeasurable.

Shettima in a statement on Friday in Abuja, described Onu as a true statesman and accomplished Nigerian leader.

It is with profound sadness that I write to express my heartfelt condolences on the passing of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, a true statesman and accomplished Nigerian leader.

” As the first civilian governor of Abia, he laid a strong foundation for good governance and democratic principles. His legacies in Abia State will forever be remembered.

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” As the Minister of Science and Technology, his dedication to nation-building was evident in his focus on fostering scientific advancements and technological innovation in our great nation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Shettima said beyond his political achievements, late Onu was a man of integrity, wisdom, and unwavering principles.

” He was a true patriot who dedicated his life to the progress and development of our great nation. His contributions to Nigeria’s development will be forever remembered by the nation.

” I extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family during this difficult time. May the memories of Dr Onu’s remarkable life and the impact he had on countless lives serve as a source of comfort and strength.

” As we join you in mourning the loss of this great Nigerian, be rest assured that his legacies will continue to inspire generations of leaders to come.

” May the Almighty accept and grant his soul rest, and may He grant you and all his friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

NAN reports that Onu graduated with a First Class Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos State in 1976 before obtaining his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley four years later.

He would later serve as a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers where he rose to become the pioneer Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the institution and later, acting dean of the engineering faculty.

The 72-year-old began his political career when he unsuccessfully sought a senatorial ticket of the now-defunct National Party of Nigeria in the old Imo.

He later contested and was elected the first civilian governor of the then-newly created Abia in 1991 under the platform of the National Republic Convention.

He was sworn in January 1992.

The former governor became the presidential candidate of the All Peoples Party (APP) in 1999, but gave up his position to Olu Falae after the defunct APP merged with another party, Alliance for Democracy.

In 2015, Onu was appointed as minister of science and technology by the Nigerian president at the time, Buhari.

By 2019, he became the longest-serving minister in the ministry with his reappointment in 2019 by  Buhari. (NAN)

by Salisu Sani-Idris

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